“I just threw two elbows like Brock Lesnar”

I’m going to hazard a guess you don’t know what Flint rapper King Ca$hes is talking about on “No Necklace.” If that’s the case I’ll refer you to this Sportskeeda article about SummerSlam 2016. It was a shocking finish to a pro wrestling match. By MMA standards a referee stoppage due to elbows opening giant cuts would be expected, but few people expected Randy Orton to be left in a pool of his own blood in a worked sport. It led to a lot of speculation that Lesnar “went into business for himself” but as unbelievable as it might seem both men agreed to the spot and planned for it, although Orton getting concussed by the blows may NOT have been what either intended.

Most of what King Ca$hes talks about on “Shipping & Handling” is less obscure. In fact it was immediately obvious to me that “Phone Slappin'” was a revision of Aaliyah’s famous “Rock the Boat” single, right down to the samples and the fact he starts singing his own take on the hook. I imagine there’s a percentage of the audience who isn’t happy with him for it — but that’s not me. Why would he rock with it if he didn’t like it? For me it’s coming from a place of sincerity as are bars like “knew that I was born great, I just had to grow at it.” It’s a line mixed in with a lot of misogyny and veiled threats, but it still stands out for showing his ambition as an emcee.

Songs like “Camera” hit me the same way. I don’t have production notes for this album, but the ivory keys and the bass are well laced, and Ca$hes has a flow that’s almost but not quite run on sentences. It reminds me ever so slightly of Lil B when he’s focused and on point, and a bit like 21 Savage in his relentless swagger, but still clearly identifiable as his own Michigan rap style. “I treat the work like a bug, how I get it off me.” King Ca$hes tends to lean heavily into similes on “Palm Angels” but it’s endearing in an era where rappers disguise their cleverness with excessive AutoTune.

Shipping & Handling” has a lot going for it. After looking into his background for a bit I found this interview where he talks about his (then) six-year-old daughter, and my sense of him is that he talks a lot of shit to get noticed but isn’t the type of Flint rapper to catch a murder charge. I think he wants to be there for her long term and I want the same thing. I don’t want to put his name on a 2024 in memoriam list where I have to pour out a little liquor and reminisce. If I’m being fair though he also needs to take things to another level to succeed beyond the local scene. The usage of “like” in his bars could be toned back, he could make some catchy hooks that will get his tracks to go viral, and cameos from some regional artists who already made it big wouldn’t hurt. Keep striving Ca$hes.

King Ca$hes :: Shipping & Handling
7Overall Score